Last Thursday I went to see a one-night only event at the Spectrum theater in Albany. This event was for a showing of Hits, a movie written and directed by David Cross (of Mr. Show and Arrested Development fame). I knew nothing of the original Kickstarter, and I first heard about this movie on my beloved Harmontown podcast. David Cross was a guest and I was so excited about that in its own right to absorb most of the talk about his movie. I’ll admit I remained uninterested outside of laughing the jokes about Hits being the first legit movie released on BitTorrent. I mean, Dan Harmon rapped and David Cross sang along, so I was clearly focused on the important things.
A week later maybe I saw a post from All Over Albany about the movie showing at the Spectrum. I got excited, as I do when awesome things show up in the Capital Region. Once I watched the trailer I knew it was a movie I wanted to see. Next thing I know I see David Cross’s name pop up on my latest Comedy Bang Bang podcast episode (he was working it for this movie, obviously). As I listened to that podcast, I was reminded about the “pay what you want” feature, and got to enjoy Hits stars Matt Walsh and James Adomian yuck it up. Worried tickets would sell out, I grabbed a few the weekend before and made plans to arrive at the theater early enough to get good seats.
Movie events in general have a great energy to them. Last year (I think?) I went to a showing of The Big Lebowski at Proctors where they sold white russians and gave away random movie posters. It had a great community feeling to it. Things were a bit similar at the Spectrum, however with a heavy dose of exceedingly hip looking people in the mix instead of dudes in robes.
Hits itself was a solid movie. I laughed a lot, more than I thought I would, and enjoyed the whole experience. We were treated to a recorded intro from Cross cut together with random bits. The pace really kept things movie and it was SO funny, if a bit awkward and dark. Some especially sharp jabs were targeted to the NYC-savvy. (“We’re a collective out of Williamsburg.” “We’re out of Bushwick.”) I can see how some reviewers felt the package overall didn’t deliver, but knowing David Cross’s stand up a bit and his position on people who are famous for being famous (and his comments on The Simple Life), it all made sense.
I really loved the ending “twist” and absurdity of it all. It ended on a solid note, if a little frustrating. But that’s how the world is in the end, like when I try to explain to people the sharp commentary Anchorman 2 made about CNN and the dumbing down of news in America. But most people are like, ‘meh, not that funny.’ And Hits makes a solid point that people LOVE to bandwagon ideas or people or concepts rather than learn about the actual details of a plan or about who a person is (KONY2012 anyone?).
Maybe the biggest excitement of all was getting to experience a Skype session with David Cross after the film. I don’t know how to details were worked out, but he agreed to Skype in to chat after the movie and answer questions. One ticket seller told me it was one of a few theaters getting that perk. He answered questions for about 20 minutes, with only one or two painfully awkward moments or technical difficulties. It was such a cool event, and I’m really glad I went.